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Leadership Election

Leadership Election

National Citizens' Coalition for

William F. Benson, President
Donna R. Lenhoff, Esq., Executive Director

1424 16th Street, NW, Suite 202
Washington, DC 20036-2211

Phone: 202-332-2275
FAX: 202-332-2949

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                   
October 21, 2003  

Contact: Deborah Mitchell
Communications Director 

NCCNHR Elects National Leadership, Honors Long-Term Care Residents� Rights Champions  

WASHINGTON The National Citizens� Coalition for Nursing Home Reform (NCCNHR) elected its national leadership at its 28th Annual Meeting, Elder Justice : Shaping Policy, Saving Lives, which was held October 18-21, 2003 . The following officers were elected to NCCNHR�s Executive Board :

Barbara Hengstebeck , President-elect. Hengstebeck, Executive Director of the Coalition to Protect America�s Elders, Tallahassee Florida , has championed nursing home residents� rights for more than 25 years. Since 1997, Hengstebeck has directed her formidable skills and energy to independent advocacy for nursing home residents for the Coalition to Protect America �s Elders, a citizen advocacy organization dedicated to creating public awareness of the conditions in our nation�s nursing homes and developing effective solutions for improving the quality of nursing home care.

Alison Hirschel , Vice President. Hirschel, an attorney at the Michigan Poverty Law ProgramAnn Arbor, MI , advocates for the vulnerable and elderly and provides support, coordination, and training for elder law advocates across the nation. She teaches elder law at the University Of Michigan Law School, and is co-founder of the Michigan Campaign for Quality Care. The Campaign seeks better care, better quality of life, and better choices in Michigan Nursing Homes. Hirschel has spent her entire professional career as an advocate for the elderly. She is the recipient of the 2003 National Aging and the Law Award.

Diane Menio , Treasurer. Menio is Executive Director of The Center for Advocacy For the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (CARIE), Philadelphia , PA , a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for vulnerable older people. Menio has worked at CARIE since 1989. She has trained extensively in the detection and prevention of abuse in the home as well as in institutional settings and other issues affecting the frail elderly.  Menio currently serves on the Governor's Intra-Governmental Council on Long-Term Care, and the Senior Citizen�s Committee of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. She is past president of NCCNHR.

Patricia L. McGinnis, Esq., Secretary. McGinnis is Founder and Executive Director of California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR), San Francisco , CA . Since 1983, CANHR has fought for the rights of long-term residents in California . CANHR serves consumers, legal services staff, advocates and health care professionals throughout California with pre-placement counseling, consumer information, a State Bar certified Lawyer Referral Service, pension counseling, legislative advocacy, technical assistance, advocacy support and information and referral services.

William Benson , President, Benson Consulting Group, Burtonsville, MD remains NCCNHR Board President.

The following members were elected to NCCNHR�s Board of Directors :

  • Beverly Bryant, MD, nominated by Washingtonians for Improvement of Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care.
  • Jacqueline Case, NY, nominated by the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program of Suffolk County .
  • Steven Kilpatrick, CT, nominated by the Connecticut Citizens� Coalition for Nursing Home Reform.
  • George Potaracke, WI, nominated by the National Association of State Ombudsman Programs (NASOP).
  • Anna Spinella, FL, nominated by Family Advocates for Nursing Home Improvement.
  • Eduardo Standard, NY, nominated by the Coalition of Institutionalized Aged & Disabled.

Each year, at its Annual Meeting, NCCNHR honors long-term care residents� right champions. The following are 2003 NCCNHR Award Recipients :

Cenoria Johnson Memorial Award presented to Florida Senator Nancy Argenziano in recognition of work dedicated to improving long term care that has had a national impact or is a model for national excellence. 

Janet Tulloch Advocacy Memorial Award presented to Woody Wilson, Coalition of Institutionalized and Disabled, NY, in recognition of a citizen advocate who continues to champion the rights of long-term care residents.

Elma Holder Founder�s Award presented to Sue Wheaton, Ombudsman Program Specialist, Administration on Aging (AoA) in recognition of lifetime achievement in long term care advocacy that has bettered the lives of countless residents and their families.

Public Service Award presented to U.S. News & World Report Reporter Christopher H. Schmitt, for unflinching examination of the long-term care system and distinguished reporting disclosing nursing home industry practices.

National Leadership Awards presented to U.S. Sens. John B. Breaux and Orrin G. Hatch, for outstanding efforts to improve the quality of care for residents in long-term care facilities.

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